End of a Festival, a rainbow of emotions…

End of a Festival, a rainbow of emotions…

#HiddenDoor this year was amazing – clearing out the #Lockerroom today gave me some time to reflect on what a huge success the whole event has been. While feeling a little hollow and wondering what will happen next its good to reflect on the fantastic people and #art #theatre and #music that I had the pleasure to meet and experience. Vive! Hidden Door and all who brought it to...
Learning Curves & Salty Coffee

Learning Curves & Salty Coffee

What was anticipated and what actually happens with art work which invites participation from an unknown audience can be very different things. This should have been obvious to me, and was maybe to everyone around me, but I found this out on the second day of #HiddenDoor and was surprised by the degree to which my work had been contributed to. I used the word ‘trashed’ at the time as this is how it felt but on reflection what did I expect? What went on? With my initial installation I set up a piece of work ‘in progress’ to slowly and peacefully transform in the space in the main #lockerroom off the Blue Corridor. At a distance (around the corner in the corridor) I arranged a  set up to allow for expressive (!) and self-compelled participation using the same materials I was using in what I perceived to be a more controlled environment. As an Artist you have to make decisions about how much to communicate to the viewer, I didn’t leave diagrams about what to do, or any DO NOT TOUCH labels and relied entirely on the visual and spatial set up to communicate ‘what to do?’ When we came in on Saturday, all the sheets I had set up to change over in the main installation and two sheets in the experimental area were covered with expressive #inky marks, mind bogglingly shocking to me coming into it cold and at the time I felt a roller coaster of emotions – embarrassment (I had brought my family and a friend to show my work and had felt so proud), anger (bloody...
#HiddenDoor2015 Opens – Phew!

#HiddenDoor2015 Opens – Phew!

#HiddenDoor opens today, Friday 22nd May, with ‘…a unique mix of visual art, music, theatre, dance and cinema.’ What is Hidden Door? Hidden Door is a not for profit arts festival that takes place in abandoned or hidden places in Edinburgh. This year it is taking place in the #secretcourtyard in the old CEC Street Lighting Depot on Kings Stables Road, right in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, just off the Grassmarket. The work that it has taken to transform the spaces into bars, for installations, lighting, theatre has been immense and at last nights Pre Preview there was a great atmosphere – #HD relies on the super human powers of volunteer help and the artistic vision of the #HD team headed up by Edinburgh based visual artist David Martin. More development pics to come as the ‘Draw-ing(s)’ develop but now I am off to catch up on some...
My Grey Spell – continuing the set up for #HD2015

My Grey Spell – continuing the set up for #HD2015

I have a sore back today, grey speckled face and wrists and a niggling worry about hanging my work in the #lockerroom off the #blue corridor in the #secretcourtyard  – but hum ho, another day. The positives: I now have grey walls (please don’t need another coat today), general lighting rigged and many coat hangers, ink arrived, paper…all to be revealed later! Actions: Find suitable hanging/ fixing system. Magnets? To look like mirror fixings? Then paper can be removed and will not be damaged. To plinth or not to plinth and to conceal my wells or not – working in the space changes how I think the work should be shown and the proportions of the large sheets of paper need to be carefully looked it. Buy salt. Find containers to carry saline solution to site. Boxes for interactive work station Set up grid of nails/ clips for hanging and punch paper (maybe literally) The site is really coming to life, stages being built, a wonderful old caravan set up which will also be a stage – I wonder what the neighbours think?!  ...
#HD2015 in the deep end of process

#HD2015 in the deep end of process

As the set up days for #HiddenDoor Festival 2105 rapidly approach I am physically involved in dunking, dropping, mixing and ‘draw-ing’ tests to see what works as I scale up and up. My final college review brought up issues of audience participation, making some work before the work is installed and maintaining my own artistic integrity through clear audience direction. Oh the responsibilities are weighing heavy…will the paper be strong enough, the choice of ink (will I balk at the colour separation my beloved Quink gives?) but as @SusieLeiper and @LyndaWilson from the Artist Book Group said last year ‘…what will be?’ I am oddly...
#HD2015 – ‘Draw’-ing(s) in fluid progress

#HD2015 – ‘Draw’-ing(s) in fluid progress

‘Draw’-ing(s) from the secondary meaning of the word Draw: 2. To bring, take, or pull out, as from a receptacle or source: to draw water from a well. Following the site specific work I made for last years Hidden Door Festival I am continuing to develop the theme of transformation and abstraction of the book form on a larger scale with a ink, saline and paper piece ‘Draw’-ing(s). Several large pieces of paper will be suspended with their ‘foot’ in a well of ink/ saline solution to transform during the festival. This years visitors to #HD2015 will be able to ‘feed’ the work and help shape its form – open to accident and incident it is intended that the piece will transform the space it is hung in. The changes will be recorded at set times and the record made on etching plates to remain after as a record of the process. © Felicity Bristow...
#TYA a dedicated artist book

#TYA a dedicated artist book

I was so excited to receive my image book from PhotoBox, although too late to submit for college I now have a visual record of the process I went through during my artist residency at #TYA (Tweeddale Youth Action, Peebles) as part of the Working Perspectives Project initiated by Crossing Borders artist group and Peebles Creative Place 2014. As I struggled with a clear identity for my work during this residency it is a great relief to see how the work progressed and came together, in the comforting form of a book, richly referencing the young people and their words – giving them a public voice. #TYA #nofear #dedication...
‘…getting involved becomes involving.’

‘…getting involved becomes involving.’

My Working Perspectives Residency with #TYA: ‘From the very first visit time I met the very enthusiastic Dave Hodson, Manager, from Tweeddale Youth Action I quickly learnt that #TYA was a vibrant and diverse youth community organization that offers an essential and supportive service to the young people in and around the Tweeddale area. #TYA also links up with other local organisations eg PeeblesCAN to co-work on projects, imbedding itself deep within the community and engaging with all age groups. The energy from Dave during that first ‘blind-date’ chat was infectious, something also clearly felt by the young people who use the youth group to socialise. Since last August I have attended six drop-in sessions on Friday nights in the Old Fire Station Building, School Brae – each time meeting new faces, learning more about the group and how it works. The group also has other nights they are open and more structured sessions running after school for younger people. In October 2014 I went every Friday night as a regular drop-in visitor myself. I wanted to become more aware of what #TYA meant to the young people at the older end of their age range. Each week I learnt more about its members and how the group worked, and I spent time each session with Dave, Heather and Tom the #TYA youth workers. The #TYA staff were open and focused on their roles and the young people clearly valued having their own space to socialize in with adults who they felt they were equal with. The young people hung out, challenged each other to play table football, to...